According to Mitch Lawrence of Sporting News, the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Clippers have had discussions revolving around a trade with Blake Griffin as the centerpiece of the deal. Lawrence did not name any other names that would be involved in the trade.
The Clippers have talked to the Nuggets about trading Blake Griffin to Denver, per NBA sources.— Mitch Lawrence (@Mitch_Lawrence) February 5, 2016
Griffin's near $19 million dollar a year salary (2.5 years remaining with the final year at $21.3 million) would require significant salary going back to the Clippers to make the deal financially viable. One would think the obvious player to go back to the Clippers would be Kenneth Faried, who instantly would take Griffin's spot in the rotation and has a big enough salary of his own ($11 million) to be a starting point for the deal. Still, more would have to be added from both a talent standpoint and a money standpoint to get it done. J.J. Hickson's contract, which expires at the end of the year, would be useful in this scenario because either way LA would have to pay him for the remainder of the season so if they didn't want him they could just waive him and move on. From the talent side one of Denver's young prospects would likely also be involved in the deal. With their current lack of depth on the wing and glut of bigs one would think either Jusuf Nurkic or Nikola Jokic would be the other piece of the deal. I'm sure the Nuggets would prefer to part with Nurkic instead of Jokic and I'm sure the Clippers would rather have Jokic. However, I would think if there is one guy above all else on this team right now who is untouchable it would have to be Nikola.
It's important to keep in mind that trade rumors are simply that, rumors. The biggest names in the NBA get brought up between executives in trade talks all the time but rarely does the deal actually get done. Still, with Griffin's recent off court troubles, Denver could potentially get a supremely talented player at a discount. The question is, with a team that has dedicated their season to development and changing the organizational culture, is Griffin the right guy for that vision?
Update (12:34 PM): According to Dan Woike of the OC Register the Griffin to Denver talk was not very substantive, though Lawrence is holding fast that it was the Clippers who called Denver first, ahhhh trade season.
Sources: Denver reached out and asked about Blake Griffin but Clippers weren't interested. Not much discussion— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) February 5, 2016